About

The Triangle Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC), launched in September 2011, is a national resource for materials science and engineering research and education located in the Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill area of North Carolina. The MRSEC research team encompasses faculty and students at Duke University, North Carolina State University, North Carolina Central University and the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. The MRSEC will have a major national and international impact in soft matter materials science through generation of new fundamental insights and theoretical understanding, new design principles, and new applications and uses for colloidal and macromolecular materials and their higher order assemblies.

Research Vision: Programmable Assembly of Soft Matter

Our goal is to extend the frontiers of materials research by exploring, harnessing and exploiting the dynamic properties and processes related to multicomponent particulate and macromolecular assemblies. Our research effort encompasses materials theory, synthesis, processing and applications. Areas of emphasis include multicomponent colloidal assembly through comprehensive interaction design and genetically encoded polymers for programmable hierarchical self-assembly.

Our efforts will focus on:

  • synthesizing new colloidal and biopolymer components for programmed assembly
  • studying and predicting assembly of these components in response to external stimuli (e.g., electric, magnetic and thermal fields)
  • creating sophisticated new materials systems with useful functionality
  • translating these materials and applications to industry
  • educating and mentoring a new generation of researchers in an emerging area of materials science.

Innovation Vision: Fostering an environment for translation of discovery-to-invention and invention-to-industry

The MRSEC participates in events sponsored by the Council for Entrepreneurial Development (CED), the nation's largest non-profit resource for entrepreneurs, investors, academicians, researchers and public policy makers. CED offers venture and biotech conferences, venture mentoring services, the Competitive Advantage through Fundamentals of Entrepreneurship (CAFE) and the "Start Something" Scholarship Fund. The Center also engages with seed funding organizations such as the Duke-Coulter Translational Partners Grant Program, the Duke Translational Medicine Institute and the NC State Daugherty Endowment. The MRSEC also encourages researchers to participate in entrepreneurial activities through vehicles such as the Duke Center for Entrepreneurship & Research Commercialization, the NC State Hi Tech Program, the UNC Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation and the Triangle Startup Weekend. Our goal is to provide MRSEC faculty and students with ongoing means to facilitate translations of technologies to industry.